Recreational Vechicle

bathroom faucet - rv dump valve

Adding a Second Switch Inside Your RV for Drain Master Electric Valve

Over time and talking to our customers it became evident that we needed to develop a simple system for our customers, without a lot of electrical background, to install a second switch in the living space of the RV. Folks are beginning to understand the importance of keeping the gray valve closed and only open when the tank is 2/3rds full. Putting a second switch inside for the electric RV dump valve makes it simple to empty the tank with a push of a button after washing clothes or taking a shower.

showering - rv dump valve

standardized flat plugs - electric rv dump valve

We standardized on the Mate N Lock style 4 pin flat plugs many years ago.

electric wye - rv dump valve

 

extension cable - rv dump valve

Every valve we sell for use in RVs has this plug on the valve, unless the RV mfg. specifically ordered valves  without them.  We then offer a number of extension cables that plug into the valve and go to the operator switch wire harness so it is a simple matter of plugging each one together.

Here is a diagram that illustrates how everything plugs together.

diagram for installing a second switch for your rv dump valve

 

Like this idea?

Click here to order the Wye harness and click here for the extension cables (Pt 5218 – 5223).

Still have questions on how to do this or what to order?  Just give us a call. (877) 787-8833

360 products white vent with diagram - rv roof vent

Eliminate Sewer Odors Inside Your RV Forever!

So if you’ve been on our site lately you’ve probably noticed the newest offering in our lineup of RV Waste Management Products that solve any and all issues regarding that awful sewer smell inside the RV. This RV roof vent is a fantastic solution to the problem of sewer odors.

The 360 Roof Vent

rv roof vent

  1. No Fan: The 360 Siphon provides you with a smell solution without any moving parts.
  2. Quality Engineering: By creating an updraft, odors and other gasses outside the RV can no longer enter your internal air. Allergens and toxic air alike are now kept outside your four walls.
  3. Good for the Environment: The breakdown of waste occurs over three times faster and allows you to use more environmentally friendly sprays when cleaning or freshening.
    Many customers have even eliminated their use of perfumes in their RV’s because the RV roof vent is that good!
  4. User-Friendly: To add to the benefits, this product is easy to install quickly and safely with only a screwdriver and putty knife.

In summary, you can breathe easier with the 360 RV roof vent not only because it reduces fumes but it’s easy to use with zero maintenance required!

And you would expect us to say good things about it and point out it’s best features.

But maybe you’d like an outside opinion, and possibly some more info and pictures on installation.

Well, look no further than this link below. It’s brought to you by IRV2.com. And if you aren’t a member of this forum, don’t worry, you will be able to read the article. But we think that once you take a look around, and see all of the valuable info being shared there, you’ll want to join too. And why not? It’s free.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/blogs/driver/installing-the-360-rv-universal-holding-tank-roof-vent-siphon-cap-4140/

See the product on our website here: 360 Roof Vent

Sewer fly - sewer flies - Waste Master

How to Avoid Sewer Flies in your RV Holding Tanks

If you’ve never heard of sewer flies, read on to see how you can be sure to avoid them.  The following article comes to us compliments of Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor.

Frustrating Fly ‘Festation’ with RV Toilet

Posted by RV Doctor

I just purchased my first ever motorhome earlier this year, a used 38-foot Damon. I have what seems like fruit flies breeding in the black water holding tank. No problem with the gray water holding tank. Whenever you push the flush foot pedal, the flies come swarming up out of the commode. I tried a half gallon of ammonia down the toilet and it seemed to help for a few days, but to no avail, they are back. I have talked with some of other motorhome residents in my park, but they have never heard of this problem. I usually dump both tanks when they are about two-thirds full. Has anyone had this problem before and what was the solution?
Jim, (San Antonio, TX)

First off, Jim, congratulations on the purchase of your first-ever motorhome! I’m sure you’ll rack up plenty of RVing miles in the coming months! About your bugs, you are evidently experiencing an onslaught of sewer flies, also called drain gnats among other names, (some of which may not be printable here). Depending on your specific variety, the scientific name is probably either Psychoda alternate or Psychoda cinerea. They are sometimes found in RV holding tanks since they thrive on moist organic waste, especially solid waste. Just the kind of stuff you’d find in the black holding tank. Primarily one that has not been cleaned, flushed or maintained adequately. Chances are, at some point, your new-to-you motorhome was probably stored without the holding tanks being flushed, cleaned and emptied completely.

Thankfully sewer flies do not bite, but they can be very annoying and still even dangerous at times. Because they are born among decaying filth and waste, they have the capability to transmit diseases to humans. Prolific little creatures, they lay their eggs in masses of anywhere from 10 to 200 groups, according to one report I researched. The larvae resemble small worms; basically without legs. The eggs can hatch anywhere between 32 to 48 hours. They mature in about two weeks and simply keep reproducing until they die or are eradicated. But keep in mind, new adults keep emerging from the pupae every 20 to 40 hours! The adults live approximately two weeks.

For short term relief, published reports recommend using a spray can of an insecticide containing pyrethrins or resmethrin. This will knock the adults down for a while. I must admit, however, I’ve never personally tried the insecticide route, but if you do, always follow the proper safety precautions for pesticide use, especially inside the motorhome. After killing those in the immediate area, be sure to sufficiently vent the entire RV. Read the precautions on the spray can carefully! But the best defense against long term infestation is to simply keep the holding tanks flushed and clean during periods of non-use. In your particular instance, it may be necessary to have your holding tanks hydro-cleaned, (see allprowaterflow.com). Because dried out waste can often stick to the bottom of the holding tank or clog the outlet of the tank, simply draining and flushing with fresh water may not be enough to dislodge all contaminants. And as you flush the toilet, the added moisture imbues new life into the larvae, prolonging the infestation. The bottom line is that the toilet drain and the black holding tank must be thoroughly cleaned prior to placing the motorhome in storage.

Though some people may not favor a holding tank additive, the proliferation of sewer flies is one strong case to indeed employ one. An enzyme-based, formaldehyde-free additive, one that helps digest the solids, is my recommendation. I’ve personally seen an infestation so severe that the flies had backed up into the integral tubing inside the toilet. The toilet had to be completely disassembled, cleaned and reassembled. It was quite time consuming. Hopefully your situation isn’t that bad. But it does mandate at least a complete inspection of the toilet and other components such as the vent pipe for that holding tank. It’s not the end of the world obviously, but it is quite annoying!

Here is a close up of what they look like
rv cam lock

RV Sewer Connections – Bayonet vs RV Cam Lock

Years ago while full timing, I always had issues with connecting my sewer hose to the RV, as well as, between the hose and the fitting. I didn’t have an RV Cam Lock. The bayonet fitting on my RV, as it is with almost all other RVs, is a male 4 pin connection, while the hose end is a female with the seal located in it.

This arrangement seemed odd, so I began to look at how other industries transferred liquids from vehicles. The first thing I noticed was the cobayonet fitting vs rv cam locknnections were completely different, not just in material thickness, to take the abuse of constant usage, but also the way the industrial fittings work. Industry standard fittings are all “compression” fittings, in other words when the male fitting comes in contact with the seal, it is compressed into the seal either with 2 cams or with a threaded ring, which is used extensively on fire trucks. The 2 cam arms are usedon fuel trucks, as seen below.

fuel truck connection - not rv cam lock

This difference is significant when high pressure is needed, as with fire trucks and is as important when transferring fuel, even though the fuel is not under pressure, other than what is created by the tank. The need to have a connection that insured a fail proof connection made the “compression” style fitting a standard in all industries, with the exception of the RV industry.

Human waste is by no means as harmful when spilled, as fuel or as accident prone as a pressurized fire hose connection coming loose, but human waste is considered an environmental hazard!

Further study revealed that all commercial vehicles have the female fitting on the vehicle and the male fitting on the hose, exactly opposite to the RV bayonet system. The reason the male is on the hose in commercial applications is that the male fittings are just slightly larger than the hose itself, so are easier to store and handle the hose and extension hose assemblies.

Over the past 5 years we have never had a customer say they didn’t like the Cam Loc fitting and in fact we get compliments all the time on the secure feeling the user gets while dumping the holding tanks.

rv cam lock

To hear what others are saying about the cam loc fitting, simply google RV cam lock or click this link to see a comment from the IRV2.com forum http://www.irv2.com/forums/f52/no-leak-sewer-hose-system-76084.html

Watch the RV Doctor show you how the system works. https://youtu.be/j-mehVSn6Ws

We are always happy to talk to you directly if you have question, 877 787 8833 toll free.

RV Doctor Onboard with Drain Master!

Hey Folks! Gary Bunzer, The RV Doctor, here on the Drain Master blog. I hope you’ve been gleaning lots of good info from the great team at Drain Master as I do. Doug and crew are the experts in RV waste management and have been for many years. I typically will consult with them when responding to the many questions regarding waste plumbing and their associated issues within the realm of recreation vehicles sent to my RV Doctor Column.

RV Doctor Gary Bunzer - talks about Drain MasterAs you’ve probably read on my RV Doctor Website over the years, I’m a big fan of Drain Master products and especially their incomparable customer service. It would be rare to find a more personable company anywhere in the supplier ranks of the RV Industry.

Nothing is outsourced!

They take care of every customer, personally! Whether by telephone or email, you can always reach Doug or any of the staff at Drain Master whenever you have a design or usability problem with anything to do with RV waste plumbing, beginning at each sink drain and ending at the sewer inlet at your favorite campground.

RV Educator and Author for the past 35 Years!

I started out as a RV service technician in 1968 and I’ve enjoyed teaching and writing about technical stuff for the RV Industry since 1976. My RV Doctor Column has been published somewhere every month since then. When you get a moment, feel free to browse around RVdoctor.com or peruse the videos on RVdoctorVideos.com. All topics are indexed on the Home Page of each site for quick and easy reference.

I’d wager that any problem you may experience during your RVing forays, has already been an issue for someone else too!

Also, look for feature articles to appear on my website as well as here on the Sweet Smelling Blog at Drain Master. Stay tuned……

I just heard Drain Master will be posting my two-part article on Waste Management here soon!

And don’t forget to sign up for my free monthly RV Doctor Newsletter! And remember, RVing is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle!

Cheers!

RV Doctor Gary Bunzer Solves Motorhome Maintenance Problems

Gary Bunzer has spent much of his life diagnosing and healing recreation vehicle problems, and passing information he’s learned on to others. He will conduct several motorhome maintenance “clinics” during Family Motor Coach Association’s August gathering in Indianapolis.

For Immediate Release

June 28, 2012

Cincinnati, OH — Although he’s not a certified M.D., Gary Bunzer has certainly earned the right to be called the RV Doctor. For more than 40 years, he has conducted research and operated on all types of recreation vehicles (RVs). He’s treated a wide variety of RV afflictions, from leaking water tanks to erratic electricity, in the process amassing a wealth of information about the common — and uncommon — motorhome maintenance maladies that present themselves in these rolling residences.

gary bunzer the rv doctor - solves motorhome maintenance problemsWhat sets Gary apart from other technical experts, though, is that besides being a fixer, he’s also a teacher. He has gained recognition in the RV world because of his knowledge and his ability to explain things such as motorhome maintenance in ways that both the professional RV technician and the RV owner can understand. Not only that, but Gary has parlayed this skill into a successful career as the RV Doctor.

Gary’s earliest exposure to RV systems came as a teenager working in the service department of his father’s custom mobile home manufacturing company in Sarasota, Florida. Each summer his dad would pair him with a technician who specialized in a certain area. The experiences laid the groundwork for his future in the RV business.

Gary began his “residency” as a service mechanic and later a service manager at RV repair facilities and dealerships after he and his wife, Debbie, moved to San Diego, California, in the early 1970s. During this time he learned to identify problems and make repairs to all types of RVs. As a manager, he passed his knowledge along to other technicians as they learned the ins and outs of servicing “sick” RVs.

Since 1976, Gary — working under the business name Bunzer Consulting Inc. — has pioneered many education initiatives within the RV industry. He developed the first formal training school for RV service technicians, with much of that material still in use today; wrote the first monthly column targeted to professional RV service technicians; and produced service training videos that are utilized at nearly every major RV training school today. And he developed the first true Internet-based distance-learning RV technician training program at the community college level.

On the consumer end, Gary pens the monthly “House Calls” column in Family Motor Coaching magazine and is a prolific technical writer, with stories appearing in many national RV publications. A monthly question-and-answer column, “The RV Doctor,” appears on his Web site, The RV Doctor. He authored the RV Owner’s Handbook and was a technical consultant and contributor to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to RVing. Where Gary really shines is during his live appearances, sharing his knowledge and experience with RV owners

as a speaker and seminar presenter at consumer and trade shows. Interspersing his presentation with humor and added emphasis for particularly noteworthy aspects, the RV Doctor treats those attending with an easy-to-swallow dose of education.

“Of all of the activities within the RV industry I’m involved with, I get the most satisfaction teaching seminars,” Gary said, “helping coach owners get the most out of their recreation investment. I eagerly look forward to each opportunity to speak with FMCA members.”

Gary’s next major appearance will be at Family Motor Coach Association’s Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase, August 27 through 30, 2012, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. During this event, he will present seminars on motorhome maintenance about optimizing the 12-volt-DC battery system, 120-volt-AC electrical safety, and separate sessions focusing on the fresh water and waste water plumbing systems. He also will be a featured panelist during the “Ask The Experts” seminar, where attendees can ask specific questions about motorhome maintenance.

All motorhome owners and owners of self-contained towable RVs are invited to attend Family Motor Coach Association’s gathering in Indianapolis. The owners of approximately 2,500 RVs are expected to travel to Indy for the event and to stay at the fairgrounds during the conclave. In addition to the RV Doctor’s seminars, nearly 130 other RV seminar sessions will be held. The $240 nonmember gate registration fee grants the motorhome owner a one-year Family Motor Coach Association membership, which includes a subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine, the leading publication for motorhome owners; towable owners also will receive a one-year subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine. Those who sign up by July 9 receive a $30 early-bird discount. This is one visit to the doctor that may actually save you money in the long run.

About Family Motor Coach Association • Enhancing The Motorhome Lifestyle

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the use of self-contained, motorized recreation vehicles known as motorhomes. The association maintains its national headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently has nearly 90,000 active member families. FMCA offers many benefits for motorhome owners, including a subscription to its monthly magazine, Family Motor Coaching; trip routing; mail forwarding; and group rates on an emergency roadside assistance program.. Perhaps the most important benefit of FMCA membership is the camaraderie and friendships that develop among people enjoying the common interest of motorhome travel and recreation.

News release source:  Family Motor Coach Association.

Fast Flow Pipe - learn about the best sewer hose around - Waste Master

Does Dumping the Black Tank 1st & the Gray Second, Clean the Hose?

Every RVer knows that dumping the Black water, then the Gray water is to insure any residual Black water will be flushed down with the Gray water—but is this really true? After we answer this age old question, stay tuned for information on the best sewer hose we’ve found that works wonders in keeping you and your RV clean.

Actually it is, providing your Gray water dump valve and drain piping is 3″. Unfortunately many RV manufacturers still use 1.5″ piping and valves on the Gray water tank outlets. What actually happens in this case, is that only a very small portion of the inside of the sewer hose is cleaned.  Probably looking a lot more like this

slow flow pipe - waste master best sewer hose system

But this theory of dumping the gray water second, assumes that the water flow goes a little more like this

fast flow pipe - waste master best sewer hose system

To get maximum hose flushing action, the Gray water exit valve and piping needs to be 3″.

Here are the reasons:

1. It takes 2.56 times longer to empty a 35 gallon tank through an 1.5″ hole than it does with

a 3″ hole.

2. With the overall flow slowed so much, the water doesnt rush down the hose as it should,

cleaning the whole interior of the hose.

3.  As your Gray tank fills, a scum forms on the top of the water, generated from soap, oils,

shampoo, toothpaste etc. When the valve is opened, the faster the water exits, the

more it creats a whirlpool sucking the scum out. This action is minimal to non existant

through a 1.5″ hole.

Converting your existing system from 1.5″ to 3″ on the Gray tanks can only be done if the Gray holsing tank has a 3″ collar with a 3″ to 1.5″ reducer in it. You will be able to tell by looking at it. The first sign is, there is a band clamp around the tank collar.

holding tank - best sewer hose question solved

Second is some white looking paste around the fitting area where the reducer was inserted. This material doesnt ever harden fully, so you can loosen the band clamp and by moving the reducer back and forth with pulling pressure on it and a little patience the reducer will come out. If your tank has a 1.5″ tank collar you are better off aborting the project.

If and when you look for a new RV, make sure you look to see the plumbing system detail, it is the area you do not like to go near, so be sure to check this area out before you buy. The devil is in the details and most folks buy the bling first, then are stuck with the issues that they didn’t look for in the first place. Finding the best sewer hose for you is also important, so do some research on various systems before getting something you won’t be able to use or clean.

For some great holding tank tips, be sure you have requested our 7 Essential RV Holding Tank Tips

As promised, here are the details of our favorite system aka the one with the best sewer hose! The Waste Master system provides an opportunity for greater cleanliness and less hassle. What a deal, right? Learn more by reading the product description here.

Ever Get Sewer Gas Smell Inside your RV? Time for a P-Trap

If you have ever experienced that unmistakable smell inside your RV, you absolutely know it is not supposed to be there EVER! Why it came into the living space of your coach is in all probability for one or two reasons. If you have been travelling down the road when you smell it or enter the coach when you stop, the possible problem is water has escaped out of one of the P-traps in your sink or shower, breaking the “water seal” created in the RV P-trap and allowing the sewer gases back into the living space of the RV.

water traps sewer gas - rv p-trap

The other possibility is that the holding tank roof vent allowed the outside air to enter the vent stack, creating a positive air pressure in the holding tank and the air is seeping into the living space through a poor seal somewhere.

diagram of rv with and without vent cap

With our most recent partnership with 360 Products Inc. we are in a position to help eliminate sewer odors in your RV once and for all, guaranteed. As you may already be aware, we sell the HepvO waterless RV P-trap which eliminates the issue of water spilling out of the traditional P-trap, however, if you have positive air pressure in the vent system, the potential for sewer gases to permeate the living space still exists.

We have looked in the past at carrying a roof vent but any of the units that worked required moving parts. The first on the market to address this problem was the 360 Shark Fin that turns in the breeze, causing a negative pressure in the vent stack and holding tanks. It’s popularity with consumers caught the eye of a couple of companies known in the RV Industry for “knocking off” good products and two more appeared on the market. The original inventor of the 360 Shark Fin knew this device had limitations, and his goal was to make a product with no moving parts that was very low profile and would never allow a negative pressure in the vent stack, under any wind condition. Five years in development and hundreds of models tested, the perfect unit emerged and they could not make it fail in any of the test labs it was sent to!

We are proud to be partnered with 360 Products Inc. and with the 360 Siphon added to our waste management product family, we feel all our products are designed to make your RVing experience uneventful when it comes to dealing with human waste issues.

360 Products Siphon - RV vent for odor control

Creative Ways to Install Drain Master in the Proper Position

We have talked about valve positioning in the past and most manual valve failures can be contributed solely to the position the valve body is in, in relation to the pipe it is located in. Keeping the valve body over the piping, as opposed to beside or under the piping, is the key to long term reliability and performance.

rv sewer tank valve orientation

 

This sounds simple, but in reality, once the RV is designed, built and sold to the consumer, the task of repositioning becomes a separate challenge. You will find that most of the time, a workable solution can be found. In rare cases, you are stuck with the existing configuration with no recourse, even if you replumb the whole system starting at the holding tank outlets.

Increasing the Gray Tank Outlet

Most RV manufacturers buy their holding tanks with an 1.5″ reducer in a 3″ hole on the tank for the gray water. This reducer can be removed in most cases.  By having the gray tank outlet 3″, you will get the actual water flow necessary to remove the scum build up on top of the water as the gray tank fills. If this is possible, you should definitely do it!

holding tanks in half pipe - rv sewer tank valve installation

Imagine your holding tank (pictured below),outlet(s), and begin here.

holding tank outlet - rv sewer tank valve install

First make sure you can remove the reducer in the gray tank(s). If not, you will need to look at alternates (described later) then see if you have 6 to 8 inches above both tank outlets. If so, the valves should be mounted as close to the tank as possible (see pic below), to prevent solids from building in the pipe, between the tank and the valve face, causing a cork.

drain master system on gray tank - rv sewer tank valve install

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you do not have the room, come out until you have the overhead room to mount the valves over the pipe in their respective flanges. Now plumbing to the side of the coach where you connect the sewer hose becomes pretty simple—in most cases.

Alternative– 1.5″ tank outlets mean you will need to continue with the in 1.5″ pipe from the holding tank and use a reducer on the tank side of the valve, then increase the  pipe size to 3″. If not, you will have to plumb the rest of the way with the existing pipe and termination assembly.

Our goal is to make dumping your holding tanks uneventful and as efficient as possible. We highly recommend reading our “First in Last out” rules of dumping your tanks. If all RVers used this method we would eliminate ground water contamination between the RV site and the sewer inlet, a common issue at parks with full hook ups. Be an environmentally friendly RVer!

We are happy to work with our customers on these types of issues, so please feel free to contact us 877 787-8833 toll free with any of your questions.

Prevent Plugged Holding Tanks with the Biffy Bidet!

We have been carrying a product called the Biffy for the past 4 years and it is an attachment that turns any toilet into a Bidet. A bidet is used for personal hygiene and extremely popular in Europe and more and more in high end homes in the US and Canada, as we become a more global society. Stay tuned to see how this could be the solution you’re looking for regarding plugged holding tanks!

biffy bidet toilet - reduce plugged holding tanksThe Biffy Installed

History Behind the Product  No pun intended!

The reason we carry the Biffy is the result of a call from an RVer who spends a lot of time RVing in Mexico that is always trying to conserve on water and is big on recycling. He had had a problem with plugged holding tanks due to too much T/P in the toilet while conserving on water. He discovered the Biffy and thought even though it uses more water he and his wife would not need to put the T/P down the toilet.

The Biffy delivers a soft shower of fresh clean water to cleanse your bottom completely – in seconds. No other bidets or bathroom accessory works as well, Guaranteed!

adjust pressure for bidet with inset - reduce plugged holding tanks

What Happens When the Biffy is Operated

When you are sitting on a toilet seat your bottom is perfectly positioned for thorough bidet cleansing. The toilet seat supports your cheeks while your body weight presses down, spreading your cheeks apart and exposes your bottom parts to the cleansing rinse of the Biffy. In just a few seconds fresh water rinses your bottom completely, like a bidet, only much better for your body and your health.

What Happend in Our Family

We make absolutely sure any product we sell works as advertised, so the first unit was installed in my RV. My wife was very hesitant feeling the water would be too cold. I didn’t think so and finally she tried it. I was right (not often mind you) and she began to use the Biffy on a regular basis. We installed one in each of our bathrooms at home and as the rest of the family came over—and used the Biffy, they too had to have one as well.

The Benefits of Using the Biffy

The Biffy bidet doesn’t require manual dexterity or coordination and so it is perfect for disabled or elderly persons. Because the Biffy bidet cleans without touching, the chance for fecal contamination on hands, skin, clothing, and bathroom fixtures can be eliminated. The Biffy bidet also provides gentle, non irritating care for many other health problems including hemorrhoids, rashes, and postpartum care for new mothers.

Hemorrhoids, a problem irritated by toilet paper can be relieved with the use of the Biffy. The Biffy bidet easily cleans around hemorrhoids without manual contact or rubbing of any kind. It’s soothing rinse helps heal them. It’s gentle rectal stimulation also relieves constipation. The Biffy is good for your body.

It is also a very eco friendly option, dramatically reducing the amount of toilet paper a household or RVing family uses over a year.  Some studies have been done on just how much of an impact toilet paper production and usage costs and you would be surprised at the numbers.

If you would like to join the Biffy Revolution, call or order yours on line.
Say goodbye to plugged holding tanks and wave hello to a clean, cost-effective solution!